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How does gum disease develop?

There are many factors which affect the health of gum tissue. These include home care like brushing, and flossing, diet, systemic problems and the medications taken to control them. Even people who regularly go to the dentist can have an easily reversible inflammation called gingivitis, at the time of their regular cleanings. When their teeth are cleaned, this condition is generally resolved. People with gum tissue that bleeds on a regular basis, feels very tender or puffy may have moved into a more serious stage of periodontal disease called periodontitis.

Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. Your gum tissue is not attached to the teeth as high as it may seem. There is a very shallow v-shaped crevice called a sulcus between the tooth and gums. Periodontal diseases attack just below the gum line in the sulcus, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket: generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket.
Carol Jahn
Dentist

Gum disease is a bacterial infection. The plaque that forms in your mouth every day is home to thousands of bacteria. When you miss plaque during tooth brushing or by not cleaning between your teeth, the bacteria become more virulent or likely to cause an infection. The bacteria trigger a process that leads to the loss of bone and tissue that support the tooth; often called periodontal pockets. Too much bone loss around a tooth can result in tooth loss. People who smoke or have diabetes are at greater risk for the development gum disease, as both tend to impair the body's natural immune response.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and surrounding tissue. It develops when plaque is not adequately and thoroughly removed on a daily basis. As the plaque remains on the teeth it causes the gums to get red and puffy which is a sign of inflammation and is called Gingivitis. Chronic inflammation will cause the gums to become fragile and detach from the underlying tooth surface. In a healthy mouth, around the collar of the tooth, there is a space between the tooth and gums called the sulcus. This sulcus is no more than 3mm in length. When that space increases the plaque travels further down the tooth and the space is now unhealthy and called a pocket. It makes it more difficult to clean and when the infection reaches the bone level, the toxins that build-up causes the bone to dissolve. Once bone is lost it is called Periodontitis. This sets up a negative cycle that perpetuates the Periodontitis and now needs to be treated by a dentist or Periodontist. There are other factors that can contribute to Periodontitis which include genetics, smoking, bruxism, diabetes, pregnancy etc...

Gum disease is a condition that can occur when bacteria and other substances damage the tissue that supports your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing clear away bacteria, food particles, and mucus. However, if you don't practice good oral health habits, these substances can form a sticky, colorless film on the teeth called plaque. Over time, plaque can harden and form a stubborn substance called tartar, which brushing will not remove. Eventually, tartar at the gum line can become inflamed. This condition, called gingivitis, causes gums to be red, swollen, and prone to bleeding. Left untreated, gingivitis can deteriorate into periodontitis, in which the gums, jaws, and other tissues begin to break down. Periodontitis can lead to loss of teeth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.